Spanish athlete Andreu Lacondeguy took the 2014 Red Bull Rampage by storm with his speed, intensity and the steepest, most difficult run possible where he capped with a huge flatspin backflip off the Polaris RZR booter. His combined speed, style and big tricks are what took him from his fourth place curse, for three straight years, to number one at this year’s Red Bull Rampage.
It was a rough weekend for Rampage participants as well as the spectators as Virgin, Utah saw severe weather and flash floods in the area. Qualification runs were on hold Friday with hopes of Saturday clearing up, but Saturday the course was completely closed. The final qualification runs were moved to Sunday, September 28, and the finals were pushed to Monday, September 29. Despite all these setbacks, the finals did not disappoint.
The new course for 2014 started as an open canvas for athletes who, alongside a team of builders, shaped their lines 10 days previously, working their way down 1,000 vertical feet of cliffs. As always, athletes are judged not just on tricks but on the difficulty of the route they choose along with their speed and style on how they get from top to bottom.
Many of the qualifier athletes and Red Bull Rampage rookies made their mark this year. Jeff Herbertson and Szymon Godziek both back flipped the 73’ canyon gap. Top qualifier Graham Agassiz had to sit the finals out after an injury he sustained in practice. The 73’ canyon gap took quite a few down including Kelly McGarry, last year’s second place winner who cleared the gap beautifully at the 2013 Rampage but ended up with a taco of a back tire this time around.
Cam Zink claimed the second place spot this year with his massive 360˚ drop that was at least 60 feet off of a cliff. The drop also earned him the Best Trick, yet again, with the Utah Sports Commission. Brandon Semenuk took third on the podium, and his line was stacked with tricks that included an opposite 360˚ backflip and backflip one footed can-can. Semenuk also took the People’s Choice and secured the overall FMB Diamond Series Championship with his points from the event.
Lacondeguy’s nerves were definitely running high at this year’s Rampage. He focused on his downhill freeride mountain biking skills all season, and that focus and desire to make it on the podium finally took him to the number one spot. All it took was one run. “I knew I needed that extra little bit to be on the top and this year I just picked the steepest line,” says Lacondeguy. “As soon as I heard the countdown, I just got out of the cage and pinned it to the bottom.” Lacondeguy was more nervous as he prepared for his second run, but when he saw that his fiercest competitor, Brandon Semenuk, didn’t pull a score higher than his, Lacondeguy put down his bike, let out a big celebration scream and wiped away tears as he realized he had just become the Red Bull Rampage king.
It was a fantastic ending to an adrenaline-filled, extreme event at the 2014 Red Bull Rampage. If you weren’t able to catch it live online or in person, fans can tune in to NBC on December 27th at 4:00 p.m. EST to a broadcast of Red Bull Rampage presented by GoPro, and supported by Dodge Dart, Polaris RZR, Army National Guard and Utah Sports Commission. It will air as part of the Red Bull Signature Series. Please visit www.redbullsignatureseries.com for more information.
For more information and final results for the 2014 Red Bull Rampage, please visit www.redbull.com/rampage.